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Which DBS check do I need? – Physiotherapist

Physiotherapists work in close contact with the public, often this work will include children and vulnerable adults. Due to the sensitive nature of this role, it is a statutory requirement that physiotherapists take a DBS check as part of the vetting process.

The Disclosure and Barring Service are a public body sponsored by the Home Office. All medical professionals and other frontline workers are required to take DBS checks to ensure the public, particularly children and vulnerable adults, are protected from those who are unsuitable for frontline work.

What is a DBS or CRB check?

A DBS check for a physiotherapist is an enhanced DBS check with barred lists.

DBS checks are carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service on behalf of your employer and used to verify your suitability to work as a physiotherapist. A CRB check is the old name for a DBS check and means the same thing.

The 1974 Rehabilitation of Offenders Act sets out the need for DBS checks for all frontline workers including physiotherapists. The act introduces four types of DBS checks employers must use as part of their vetting process. Professional bodies for physiotherapists will also require the same level of clearance.

Those who work in closest contact with children and vulnerable adults are subject to the highest level check which is an enhanced DBS with barred lists.

A DBS check for a physiotherapist will require a search for any unspent or spent convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings. The DBS will also check if there is any further non-conviction information in existence with relevant police forces or entries on the children’s and vulnerable adults barred lists.

For further information visit the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy or hub.unlock.org.uk.